John Cooper Clarke

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades: 1970s 1980s 2000s


25 January 1949, Salford, Lancashire, England. With a 1965-style Bob Dylan suit and sunglasses and quick-fire delivery, Clarke enjoyed a brief vogue as a ‘punk poet’ in the late 70s. His usually comedic compositions showed the influence of the punning wordplay of Roger McGough, combined with the tougher, ‘hip’ approach of the American beats. Clarke recited his poetry in local folk clubs and, working with Rick Goldstraw’s group, the Ferretts, he began to mix his poems with musical backing. Goldstraw’s involvement with the independent label Rabid Records led, in 1977, to Clarke recording the co-produced Martin Hannett EP Innocents (billed as John Cooper Clarke And The Curious Yellows), featuring the memorable ‘Psycle Sluts’: ‘... those nubile nihilists of the north circular the lean leonine leatherette lovelies of the Leeds intersection luftwaffe angels locked in a pagan paradise - no cash a passion for...

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